Les RAV: “Darkest”
When you go to see Austin’s Les RAV, it’s a bit difficult to know what to expect. You have a guitar and drums, but you also have strings, and yes, a french horn and an enchanting, elfin frontwoman who seems barely taller than her front-and-center electric keyboard is long. But when they start playing it’s something quite magical. The quintet makes beautiful music that straddles the worlds of indie-pop, chamber, and folk.
At the heart of Les RAV is singer, songwriter and keyboardist Lauren Bruno. She came to Austin after studying at Boston’s Berklee College of Music. Bruno is joined by Caleb Hans on violin, Jenni Wieland on French horn, Robert Wills on drums, Andrew Noble on guitar and viola and new edition to Les RAV, David Thomas Jones on bass. The group hasn’t been together for terribly long, but they’ve already amassed a pretty impressive resume, playing local festivals like SXSW, Oh Snap! Festival and Utopia Fest. Les RAV is a group that’s very dedicated to its fans. The band instituted the “Les RAV Inspire Me Campaign” which asks fans to send in short videos about what inspires them.
Although Les RAV doesn’t have a proper record out yet, a few songs have hit their band sites, including today’s song of the day “Darkest.” It’s a heartbreaking song about coming to terms with lost love. There are a few different versions of the song, including a fan-remixed one (you can stream it on the band’s blog), but the one we’re showcasing today might be the most powerful. It features a string quartet and really shows what the group is capable of. Buoyed by the tension and drama of the strings, Bruno’s expressive voice really soars.